Where Are Interest Rates Headed in Austin?

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There has been a lot of buzz with the news about mortgage interest rates. I’m here with Shelly Roark of Prime Lending and she’s going to dispel some myths that you might have heard about interest rates. Interest rates are actually the lowest they’ve been in the last seven months. The shifting global market and the price of oil dropping has caused changes in the market and this has kept rates relatively low.
Right now is definitely a good time to lock in a low rate, but I would recommend that you move quickly. Once the global market finds its footing, rates will be going back up again.Don’t forget that new TRID rules took place in October, and this may affect your transaction in 2016. Initially it was thought that 45 days we’re going to be needed to close a transaction, however there have not been as many delays. Homes are usually closing in 30 days or less.
The most important thing about this change is the fact that it’s much more important to be communicating with everyone involved in your transaction. If you have any further questions about interest rates or about real estate in Austin, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!



Current Design Trends in Austin

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I have Bob Wetmore with me today, and he’s with Cornerstone Group Architects. We’re actually sitting inside one of my listings on Shepherd Mountain (6504 Courtyard Drive). Bob is going to tell us a little more about what he does.

Bob has been in business for more than 20 years, has won many awards, and has even been featured on HGTV.

When asked about current design trends in Austin, Bob noted that more and more people are trying to convert outdoor to indoor living spaces. In essence, the goal is to blur the line between being outside and inside.

Another trend that continue to be strong is having the kitchen as the heart of the home. It’s become increasingly difficult to do this because there are many different ways to cook food and there are now many different appliances to do it with.

One other thing that’s happening is that we have to determine which technologies we should be implementing in homes. There are so many new and promising technologies that it’s difficult to decide which ones will stick, and which will fade out. We’ve been implementing solar panels and other smart technologies, and it seems to be working for right now.

Another trend that Bob notices is people being okay with less space in the home. The age of the McMansion seems to be over, and people are beginning to prefer quality over quantity.

Lastly, Bob suggests that when hiring an architect, you find someone that you enjoy working with, but also make sure to review their work and make sure that it’s a design that you’re comfortable with. You’re going to be working alongside this person for quite some time, so communication is incredibly important, much like it is when you hire a real estate agent to sell your home.

If you have any questions for Bob or for me, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Bob’s phone number is 512-329-0007, and you can contact me via phone or email at any time!


  Is now a perfect time to buy a home in Austin?

Looking to sell your Austin area home? Click here for a free home value report
Looking to purchase in the Austin area? Click here for full MLS access.
Today I have Shelly Roark of Supreme Lending with me to speak about interest rates and the home buying process.
Currently, interest rates have risen slightly but they are still lower than they were a few months ago. All of the experts are indicating that these rates will continue to rise, so right now is a great time to be looking into buying a home.
Shelly recommends that before looking for a home, you speak with your lender in order to determine if you’re financially capable of buying the home that you want.
Getting pre-qualified as early as possible is the key to competing in this market. It’s important to pair up with a loan officer, who will have you fill out a form detailing your employment, your credit, your debt-to-income ratio and your assets to place you in a suitable loan program.
It’s even more important to do this before August 1st, when the new federal mortgage rules go into effect. This will likely slow down transactions, and it will be crucial for you and anyone involved in your transaction to communicate what’s happening when these changes take place.
If you have any questions, you can either contact me or Shelly. We would both be very happy to help you!

What’s Happening in Austin?

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Just so you know, I’m shooting this video from a beautiful home at 6504 Courtyard Drive in Austin, situated right on top of Shepherd Mountain. It’s over 5,100 sq ft. and it’s listed at $2.45 million. If you want to check out the virtual tour video, click here!
I’m also keeping up my tradition of letting you know about restaurants I’ve tried in Austin, as our food scene here is quickly becoming the envy of the rest of the nation. Last week I went to Gardner, which is in east Austin, and it’s definitely one of my favorite places in Austin right now. The shrimp appetizer with black truffle is unforgettable!
But let’s get to the point. The spring selling season in Austin has turned our market red-hot. Thomas Lawler, a housing economist in Leesburg, Virginia, says that, “The spring home selling season is off to a very good start. I think the rest of the season is going to be materially better than a year ago.”  Last year was a great year, so it’s very exciting to think that this year will be even better!
Overall, home sales have been rising sharply since January, and this may be because of ultra-low interest rates. A lot of people can afford to buy homes right now, so they’re coming out and taking advantage of high affordability. Homes are selling better at every price point except for homes that are valued below $100,000, but this is a sign of growth and recovery because people are moving up into more expensive homes.
As always, if you’re looking to buy or sell in Austin, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Now is is a great time to get involved in real estate!

What Do Current Market Conditions Mean for Your Ability to Afford an Austin Home?


Looking to sell your Austin area home? Click here for a free home value report
Looking to purchase in the Austin area? Click here for full MLS access.


Today, I want to share some of latest market trends we’ve seen in the Austin area. But first, because I’m such a foodie and love to try different restaurants throughout the Austin area, I want to share a new restaurant I visited and really love!

The other night, I went to Fixe, a restaurant on 5th Street. Fixe offers delicious Southern cuisine – I highly recommend the Fixe biscuits and the carnivore grits, which come with Texas Quail, pickled pears, pecan granola, and BBQ consomme!

Now, on to real estate news. Right now, it’s more affordable than ever to make monthly payments on a mortgage. Historically, you would have to pay 22% of your monthly income in order to make your monthly payments on a mortgage. Right now, payments will only cost you around 15.3% of your monthly income. It might come as a surprise that, if you decide to rent, it will cost you twice as much: 30.1%!


If you’ve been on the fence about buying, the time to do so is almost here. You will have the widest selection of homes between May and August, so now’s the time to start preparing to make your move. Freddie Mac is predicting interest rates to rise, and even a small jump in rates could cost you thousands on your monthly payments down the road. This is just another reason why acting now makes sense!

If you have any questions about market conditions, or if you need real estate assistance of any kind, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to give you a hand!

What’s Going on in the Austin Marketplace?

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Looking to purchase in the Austin area? Click here for full MLS access.

Spring is here in Austin! With this time of year comes all kinds of market activity, so we thought it would be a great time to give you a quick update on the Austin real estate marketplace!

  • New home sales are up 5.3% from this time last year.
    • This indicates builders are purchasing land and feeling confident about the future of real estate.
  • Buyer activity is 3 times greater than it was last year.
    • A great sign that the market is strong and stable, and that buyers are confident.

So, are we currently in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? It’s a seller’s market if there is less than 6 months of inventory, whereas it’s a buyer’s market if there are greater than 7 months of inventory. Anywhere in between, of course, is a neutral market.

Right now in Austin, we’re in a strong seller’s market, which means now is the time to list your home if you want to get a high price for it! If you want to close by August, you need to get your home on the market between now and July; if you miss that mark, your home will sit on the market until the fourth quarter and you won’t get as much for it! 


If you have any questions, or if you would like real estate assistance of any kind, give us a call or shoot us a quick email! I would love to help you take advantage of the great market conditions we’re experiencing here in Austin!

Three Things to Know about Austin Real Estate

Looking to sell your Austin area home?  Click here for a free home value report
Looking to purchase in the Austin area? Click here for full MLS access.

Hello and welcome to my new video blog, where I’ll be keeping you updated on the Austin real estate market. I’ll be discussing timely topics so that you can take advantage of the real estate market when you decide to buy or sell. I’m currently filming this video at one of my beautiful listings in Tarrytown, which is only five minutes from downtown Austin.

Today I’ll be discussing three important developments in our Austin real estate market:

  1. Consumer optimism is at an all-time high.The University of Michigan published a study that reported consumer confidence is as high as it’s been in the last eleven years. This should drive some growth in our real estate market.
  2. Household formations are starting to skyrocket. This doesn’t necessarily mean that more people are buying real estate, but they are leasing it and are expected to begin purchasing in the near future. This is another sign that consumers are regaining confidence in the economy.
  3. Mortgage rate premiums are falling. More affordable home loans will make affordability rise, and this will push a lot of home buyers out onto the market. The National Association of Realtors expects this increased affordability will allow 90,000-140,000 more homes to be sold in the near future! Millennial home buyers are expected to enter the market in the next 3 years and are expected to buy lots of homes.

If you have any other questions or concerns about Austin real estate, please contact me. I’m always willing to help you!